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Cakewalk: Wired

Norwegian trio make it look easy on electrifying debut.

The debut album from this Norwegian trio is aptly titled – for much of it they sound as though they, not their instruments, are plugged in at the mains. With a background in classical, jazz and improv, what they do on Wired is operate at the interface between drone-rock, post-rock, ambient, jazz and more, with electrifying results.

Some tracks feature the kind of eerie sci-fi sounds and effects you’d expect of a leftfield electronica album; on others, such as Descent, the keyboards are pure prog, the guitars total metal. Then again, the fluid drumming over the slow-building repetitions of opener Glass suggests an updated, instrumental Can circa Soon Over Babaluma.

With their guitars, bass, drums and synths, as well as cymbals, strings and effects boxes, Cakewalk can clearly play. Individually they’re dexterous, and they lock together impressively, shifting between near-silence and squall with ease.

There’s a looseness to their performances, but at the same time there is a sense of structure to the music. And its uses are seemingly varied. You can imagine moshing to it, or appreciating it sagely for the sheer intricacy of the playing. Excellent.

Paul Lester is the editor of Record Collector. He began freelancing for Melody Maker in the late 80s, and was later made Features Editor. He was a member of the team that launched Uncut Magazine, where he became Deputy Editor. In 2006 he went freelance again and has written for The Guardian, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, Classic Rock, Q and the Jewish Chronicle. He has also written books on Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Bjork, The Verve, Gang Of Four, Wire, Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, the Spice Girls, and Pink.